Travel tips

Thursday, April 26, 2007

How to Protect Your Health on a Cruise Ship Vacation

It seems that whenever there are health problems on a cruise, it is treated as big news in the media. Yes, the facts are true. There was one instance when 400 people got sick on a cruise. When someone gets sick and it is suspected to be contagious such as the Norovirus, he/she can be quarantined from the rest of the guests. The last thing you want is spending an entire cruise vacation quarantined or trying to recover from an illness.

A ship is a floating city. There are a lot of people on-board in close quarters. All it takes is someone who has a contagious disease to cause an outbreak. If you look at the source you will immediately understand how illness can spread quickly.

But you don’t need the negative publicity affect your enjoyment of a cruise vacation. In fact, there are some simple steps you can take to help prevent getting sick while on your cruise vacation.

Before embarking on your cruise vacation, you will want to schedule a visit with your family doctor. Explain to the physician your itinerary including all the ports of call. Because some countries are known for certain diseases, your doctor may recommend any number of immunizations. This will ensure extra protection against contracting some sort of illness.

If you are taking prescription medications, you should obtain refills. These refills will be readily available if you lose your primary supply while on vacation. This is especially important if the medication is needed for major life support.

When planning for your cruise vacation, pack some disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and soap. Medicine for stomach ailments wouldn’t hurt.

In the first moments while on board the cruise ship, find out if there is an on-board doctor and how to contact him/her in case of illness. Also, familiarize yourself with the layout of the ship. It is important that you know where the emergency facilities are located.

During the cruise, wash your hands with hot water and soap. You will want to wash your hands after using the restroom, after smoking, before and after eating. Avoid touching your face. Avoid person to person contact. This last tip is obviously flexible. The captain may want to shake your hand. Just use your best judgment.

While dining, consider avoiding all uncooked foods. Don’t share drinking glasses. Don’t share utensils. Always drink bottled water.

Keep your shoes on at all time. Although it may be tempting to lounge or stroll barefoot, keeping your feet covered will help you from contracting any diseases.

The risk of getting sick is not just centered on the ship. Ports can offer additional risks on your cruise vacation. While on land, always opt for bottled water or drinks. Ice cubes also present illness risks. Skip the ice if you don’t know where the ice originated or how it was handled.

Most importantly, do not be overly concerned and paranoid about getting sick. The purpose of your cruise vacation is to have fun. You are creating memories that will last a lifetime. However, just be aware of your actions. All it take a little effort on your part to help prevent getting sick on a cruise vacation.

Darren Takenaga travels and writes about tips and topics that help travelers have a safe, fun, and memorable vacation.

Kids at Sea

Water slides, magic shows, pizza parties, scavenger hunts, karaoke, kids-only shore excursions, and disco parties. Who said parents get to have all the fun on a cruise? Well-trained staff, extensive facilities, and coordinated activities, mean cruising with kids can be smooth sailing for the whole family.

Most cruise lines offer private and group babysitting options from around 9am until the wee hours of the morning. They also provide age-specific, organized programs run by trained professionals. Although there are slight variations by cruise line, age categories for organized programs are generally geared to 3-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-17 year olds.

100,000 kids were kept entertained last year on Carnival Cruise Lines with 114-foot water slides, video tournaments, talent and puppet shows, ping-pong, and scavenger hunts.

Celebrity Cruises features a full children's program during the summer and on holidays. All other times of the year, they offer a reduced program.

The Princess kids' program on Princess Cruises offers young cruisers their own deck space complete with the whale tail splash pool. Teens get their very own jacuzzi and sunning area. There's also the video arcade, computer games, and other activities such as bingo, name that Disney tune, ring toss, and mini-Olympics.

Club HAL on the Holland America Line provides fun and games for cruisers ages 5-17 and serves up movies, putt-putt golf, late-night pizza, and disco parties.

Royal Caribbean's Adventure Youth program offers its unique brand of Edu-tainment where participants enjoy educational and culture-based activities blended with the daily itineraries, ports of call, games, and team sports.

With Norwegian Cruise Lines, your kids can be circus trained and present a show for the proud parents. Other activities range from magic shows and poolside, root beer float parties to wacky cooking classes, pajama parties, line dancing, and volleyball.

Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Line also offer supervised shore excursions ranging from an afternoon on the beach to gold panning to canoe trips in Alaska.

Whether you are cruising with your toddler, tween, or teens, your Cruise Consultant can help you select the perfect family vacation. Best of all, you'll never hear the phrase "I'm bored" while you're away!

Carnival Cruise Lines' award-winning children's program is called Camp Carnival. Available year-round, the program provides elaborate facilities, age-specific programs/activities, youth playrooms with computers, children's water slides and wading pools, as well as special dining menus. The counselor-guided programs are divided into four categories, Toddlers (2-5), Juniors (6-8), Intermediate (9-11), and Teens (12-15). There is also a playroom for children under three.

The Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise house is a 2,500 square-foot children's world giving them the largest children's facilities in the Carnival fleet. Divided into three sections, the facilities offer educational computer labs and computer games, an arts and crafts section, and an indoor play area complete with a climbing maze and video wall where kids can watch movies, music videos, and cartoons. An outdoor play area has a schooner-shaped playhouse and wading pool for toddlers. The Carnival Spirit, Pride, Legend, and Miracle also offer Real Virtuality - a high-tech, game room housing video and arcade games.

Age-Specific Programs

Toddlers (2-5)
Fun Ship Bingo
Sega and Nintendo
Cartoon Time
Sponge Painting
Face Painting
Arts and Crafts
Drawing Contests

Juniors (6-8)
Puppet Shows
Cookie Decorating
Beach Party
Disney Trivia
T-Shirt Painting
Sega and Nintendo
Outdoor Games
Sea Animals

Intermediate (9-11)
Ping-Pong, Foosball, Basketball, Air Hockey
Dance Class
Jewelry Making
Scavenger Hunts
Backstage Tours
Photography Workshops
Talent Shows Teens (12-15)
Pool Parties
Pizza Pig-Out
Talent Shows
Slide and Sun
Ping-Pong Tournaments, Ping-Pong, Foosball, Basketball, Air Hockey
Photography Workshops

Babysitting is also available on Carnival's ships for children of any age for around $6/hour for the first child and $4/hour for each additional child.

Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises features a full children's program during the summer and on holidays. All other times of the year they offer a reduced program. The full program is offered for four age-specific groups: Ship Mates (3-6), Cadets (7-9), Ensigns (10-12), and Admiral Ts (13 - 15 and 16-17). Children under three years of age are not allowed in counselor-guided programs. They are, however, welcome in the playroom if accompanied and supervised by a parent at all times. All of the program's counselors are specially-trained in fields of child psychology, child development, education, or recreation.

Programs are offered 9am-noon, 2-5pm, and 7-10pm. There is also an optional slumber party from 10pm-1am. On port days, there is an afternoon party from 12-2pm. On formal evenings, the program offers a complimentary slumber party and counselors take the children to a pizza party for dinner.

Age-Specific Activities

Ship Mates and Cadets
Other Age-Appropriate Activities.
Ensigns and Admiral Ts
Theatrical Shows with Dances and Costumes (during the summer season)
Water Volleyball
Golf Putting

All children have an opportunity to meet the captain and learn how to navigate a ship by the stars. At meals, kids can get together for the Celebrity Breakfast club, or eat dinner with the family and order off a special kids menu. Finally, all kids can participate in a masquerade parade.

In-stateroom babysitting is available on all Celebrity ships on a request basis. Requests must be made at least 24 hours in advance and the charge is $8/hour for two children. Children must be at least six months old.

Disney Cruise Line has some of the most extensive children's facilities sea. Both Disney Magic and Disney Wonder offer an elaborate Walt Disney Theater that resembles a plush, Broadway house. Buena Vista Cinema features Disney flicks. Studio Sea is styled like a television sound stage and offers a forum for G-rated floor shows. These ships also offer a children's program called Oceaneer Adventure for children aged 3-17 and a nursery facility, Flounder's Reef, for children age three and under. All onboard programs are organized and run by caring youth counselors and have both scheduled and surprise visits by Disney characters every day.

Age-Specific Programs
Oceaneer Adventure is divided into three age-specific categories: Oceaneer Club (3-7), Lab (8-12), and Teen (13-17). The Club program is further divided into ages 3-4 and 5-7, while the Lab program is divided into 8-10 and 11-12. Oceaneer Club facilities resemble Captain Hook's pirate ship with plenty of places for activity. Oceaneer Lab allows participants to experience high-tech interactive programs, hands-on science experiments, and ship-wide treasure hunts. Kids 11-12 can compete in a marine biology, knowledge-quest game show and send digital post cards to friends. Teens (13-17) have their own private club, occupying a large portion of deck nine, called Common Grounds - a New York-style coffee house complete with game arcade and Internet Cafe.

In Port Activities
Every cruise with Disney stops at the 1,000-acre private island, Castaway Cay. Here, parents can relax under a palm tree on a white sand beach while their children play in a supervised area or wade in a protected lagoon. The adventuresome can go snorkeling on a course littered with tropical fish, treasure chests and faux shipwrecks (one with Mickey Mouse riding on the bow). Children are automatically enrolled in the island's activities of volleyball, biking, nature hikes, etc. once signed in on the ship.

Children's facilities are open from 9am to 1am. Flounder's Reef nursery has afternoon and nightly hours available on a first-come, first-served basis according to babysitter availability. Rates are $6/hour for the first child and $5/hour for additional children.

Holland America
Holland America offers families a year-round program called Club HAL with counselors and age-specific activities for three age groups (5-8, 9-12, 13-17). Holland America also administers Just for Kids adventure and learning shore excursions while in port. While the largest facilities can be found on Maasdam, Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, and Westerdam, kids will be fully-entertained on all ships in Holland America's fleet.

Age-Specific Programs
All children are treated to pizza and cocktail parties, ship tours, special menus, activities rooms with video games, and wading pools. Children aged 5-8 years can participate in storytelling, candy bar bingo games, arts and crafts, charades, and ice cream parties. The 9-12 year age group is entertained with golf putting lessons, dance lessons, deck sports, scavenger hunts, ping-pong, and karaoke. Teenagers have a teen disco, dance lessons, arcade games, sports, card games, and trivia contests.

In Port Activities
Just For Kids offers supervised shore excursions for kids while in port. While in port on Holland America's private island Half Moon Cay, kids can join a real island treasure hunt while teens participate in their own beach party and volleyball game.

In-stateroom babysitting is available on a request basis. Requests must be made 24 hours in advance and the charge is $7/hour for the first child and $5/hour for additional children from the same family.

Norwegian Cruise Line
Along with providing an unlimited Kids Soda Package and various activity rooms for children, Norwegian Cruise Lines offers a program called Kid's Crew that is divided into four, age-specific categories: Junior Sailors (2-5), First Mates (6-8), Navigators (9-12), and Teens (13-17). The programs and facilities vary from ship to ship, with the broadest programs found on the Star, Sun, and Dawn. Every cruise treats children to a Coke-tail party with the Captain. Norwegian also publishes Kids' Cruise News and Teen Cruise News daily, outlining the activities available to them on the ship. All of NCL's kid counselors attend a training course prior to coming on board that features team and confidence building, safety, communication skills, and working with children who have special needs.

Age-Specific Program
All Kids Crew kids get to meet the ship's captain at a special Coke-tail party, participate in treasure hunts and sand castle building competitions while docked in Great Stirrup Cay, and enjoy the ice-cream bar, chocolate buffet, and children's menu. There are a host of other activities arranged for kids based on their age. Below is a list of some of those activities:

Junior Sailors (ages 2-5)
Activities include: storytelling, t-shirt painting, arts and crafts, face painting, magic shows, Circus at Sea, and numerous other indoor and outdoor activities.

First Mates (ages 6-8)
Activities include: wacky cooking classes, decorative t-shirt painting, sing-alongs, and poolside, root beer float parties.

Navigators (ages 9-12)
Activities include: Sega and other video games, treasure and scavenger hunts, pajama parties, movies, and camp-outs with flashlights and tents.

Teens (ages 13-17)
Activities include: pool parties, volleyball and basketball, The Newlymet Game, and trivia contests, line dancing, teen disco, and special theme parties.

Every ship also publishes Kid's Cruise News and Teen Cruise News daily, so parents, kids, and teens know the activities planned for each day.

In Port Activities
While docked at Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay, children are entertained with supervised activities ranging from water sports to volleyball matches to treasure hunts.

Group babysitting is offered for kids ages 2-12 years in the evenings from 10pm-1am and in port from 9am-5pm. Cost is $5/hour for the first child and $3/hour for each additional child. Private babysitting is not available.

Norwegian Cruises also sells Kids Crew souvenir packages including a cup, soda pass, t-shirt, luggage tags, baseball cap, and sunglasses. For teenagers, the package is Teen Passport and includes 20 non-alcoholic specialty drinks, dance and pizza parties, and a farewell bash!

Princess Kids, Princess Cruise's fleetwide, youth program provides age-specific activities for children aged 3-17 years. The program is divided into three categories: Princess Pelicans (3-7), Princess Pirateers (8-12), and Off Limits (13-17). Princess partners with the California Science Center and uses National Wildlife Federation educational materials on wildlife and conservation with the children. Their Mexican Riviera program includes studies of the stars, ocean, and coral reef as well as building and racing sailboats, marine biology studies, and squid dissection. In Alaska, the Save our Seas environmental program teaches participants about endangered species like white pelicans, manatees, and sea turtles.

Princess offers extensive children's facilities on all vessels except the Royal, Tahitian, and Pacific. The Sun, Dawn, Grand, Golden, Coral, Island, Diamond, and Star Princess offer a toddler's play area. And Princess Kids programs on the Royal, Tahitian, and Pacific only operate when 20 or more children ages 3-17 are on board.

Age-Specific Activities

Princess Pelicans and Pirateers (3-12)
Arts and Crafts
Movies and Cartoons
Video Games
Scavenger Hunts
Afternoon Ice Cream Parties
Backstage and Galley Tours
Hall of Fame Tournaments
Exclusive Kids-Only Dining
Edu-tainment Programs
Karaoke and Lip-Sync Shows
Pizza Parties
Shipboard Olympics
Pajama Parties
T-Shirt Coloring Off Limits (13-17)
Movies on a Giant Screen TV
Karaoke and Lip-Sync Shows
Casino Night
Card and Board games
Shipboard Olympics
Ping-Pong Tables
Pizza Parties
Separate Jacuzzi and Sun Deck (on Grand and Golden Princess)

Group babysitting is available 10pm-1am for children ages 3-12 years old on all vessels except the Royal, Tahitian, and Pacific Princess. The cost is around $5/hour.

Youth and Teen Centers on the Grand, Golden, Star, Sea, Ocean, Dawn, Sun, Coral, Island, Diamond, and Regal Princess offer complimentary scheduled activities to youth passengers ages 3-17 from 8am-5pm while in port. A special, supervised, complimentary lunch service is also available with parental consent.

Royal Caribbean
Adventure Ocean, Royal Caribbean's kids' program, offers activities in-port, at sea, and in the evening. There are five categories to Adventure Ocean: Aquanauts (3-5), Explorers (6-8), Voyagers (9-11), Navigators (12-14), and Guests (15-17). Using edu-tainment, Royal Caribbean blends educational activities, daily itineraries, ports of call, games, individual and team sports, art, performance, and a general good time into a unique, onboard experience for children, teens, and parents. There are kids-only activities as well as those for the whole family. And Royal Caribbean also offers kids a special menu of hamburgers, pizzas, and other kid-friendly meals.

Age-Specific Activities

Aquanauts: Ages 3-5
Science Experiments
Art Classes and Projects
Un-Birthday Parties
Cookie Creations
Ice Cream and Rock-N-Roll Parties
Talent Show
Pajama and Carnival Parties

Explorers: Ages 6-8
Science Experiments
Art classes and Projects
Wacky Olympics
Name That Tune
Pirate and County Western Night
Movie Mania
Voyagers: Ages 9-11
Science Experiments
Art Classes and Projects
Rockin' Through the Decades
Reggae Beach Party
Scavenger Hunts
Backstage Tour
Sports Tournaments Navigators (12-14) and Guests (15-17)
Pool Party, Toga Party
Mix and Mingle
Sports Tournament
Scavenger Hunts
Prom and College Night
Battle of the Sexes
Dancing Under the Stars
Tae Bo
Talent Show

In Port Activities
Aquanauts, Explorers and Voyagers can participate in sandcastle building, family water-balloon toss, relays, parachute games, and tug of war.

Group babysitting is offered at a cost is $5/hour. In-cabin sitting can be booked through Guest Relations and fees start at $8/hour and children must be at least six months old. Children must be potty trained (no diapers, no pull-ups).

On a Royal Caribbean Cruise, cruisers 18 years and younger can have as many fountain soft drinks as they like for a fixed price with an Ocean Potion Card. This card is available for purchase in the ship's lounges and beverage service counters. Kids-only dinners hosted by expert youth staff give children the opportunity to meet and mingle while parents enjoy a quiet dinner alone.

Planning Your First Cruise - Things To Consider Part 1

So you've heard how great cruise vacations are, and now you've decided to take to the high seas for a fortnight of luxury and pampering. But there's a lot to think about. So before you select a cruise line, a cruise ship or even get in touch with a travel agent, there are certain issues that are vital to consider.

1) Who is going on the cruise?

Although this question should be easy to answer, it can have a bearing on the type of cruise line and ship that you ultimately choose.

If you and your partner want to take a relaxing cruise, there are many ships that are aimed at couples. In fact some cruise ships actively discourage or even ban people from taking children onboard.

If you will be cruising as a couple, it's also important to consider the dining situation. On ships with assigned seating, you will have to specify the size of table that you want. However, on many ships, tables for two are in short supply, so if this is an important issue, this may influence your choice of cruise line and ship. Just make sure that you make this clear to your travel agent or the cruise line when booking.

On the other hand, if you want to take your children or travel with the rest of your extended family, there are certain cruise lines and ships within cruise lines that are specifically tailored with family vacations in mind.

2) How much have you got to spend?

It's possible to find a cruise vacation to suit almost any budget. So before you go any further it's important to work out how much you're willing to spend on your holiday.

But as a general rule, you'll need to set aside at least $150 per person per day to cover the cost of your cruise. However, bigger cabins in more luxurious ships can cost many times this figure.

However, it is possible to get more for your money if you;

a) Book early. Most cruise lines are willing to give generous discounts if you book your cruise 6-12 months in advance.

b) Book late. Likewise, if you book within 2 months of setting sail, most cruise lines will give you hefty discounts to fill the remaining cabins.

3) How long have you got?

The number of days that you want your vacation to last will determine the type and location of cruises that are available to you.

If you only have a few days, the main option is a one port cruise. This means that the ship leaves port sails around the sea/ocean for two or three days and then returns to the same port. The ship doesn't call at any other ports, but it does give you a few days at sea. This is a good way to get the feel for a certain cruise ship, or even cruising in general.

If you have a week to spare, this gives you more choices. If you live in the US, this gives you the choice of Hawaii, Alaska, Florida, Mexico or even a Caribbean cruise. If you live in Europe this will give you access to the mediterranean, north africa, or even a nordic cruise.

Alternatively, if you want to increase the number of locations available, you could fly to and from the start/finish location of your cruise or take a one way cruise either flying to the start location or flying home after disembarkation.

If you have two weeks or longer, you can cruise almost any part of the world.

4) What time of the year?

The time of year that you take your cruise will have a major affect on two issues;

a) The Price: As with all forms of travel, your holiday will cost more during the peak season. In contrast, most cruises are cheaper in the spring or fall.

Traditionally, the winter was considered the high season for Caribbean destinations, but due to the weight of supply and demand (people who have to take their vacation during the summer) the summertime costs are almost on a par with the cost of a winter Caribbean cruise.

b) The Locations Available: The time of year that you take your cruise will also determine the locations that are available. Although this won't make much difference to the more mainstream locations such as the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, certain places have a distinct cruise season.

If you want to go to Alaska or northern Europe, the main cruise season lasts from May till September.

For Antartica, the season is even shorter, running from November to February.

Although the tropical regions are in season all year, there is a great variation in the amount of rainfall throughout the year. Locations such as the Caribbean will have less rain during the summer months and more rain during the winter months.

And finally, although not a restriction as such, some people prefer to avoid places that may be affected by the hurricane season. If a cruise ship encounters a storm it will alter its route to avoid it, which means you may miss certain places that you wanted to visit.

5) What part of the world do you want to visit?

You can cruise almost anywhere in the world, even landlocked countries are often available to explore through river cruises. So it's no surprise that this is one of the hardest decisions for cruise newcomers to make.

The amount of days that you have for your vacation will narrow your options, but beyond that, consider other issues, such as;

If you want to or have to take your vacation at a certain time of the year, which locations are available?

If you particularly want to use a certain cruise line, which locations do their ships visit?

What type of weather and climate do you prefer?

Are there any particular landmarks that you want to visit?

Are there any activities or adventures that you want to experience?

Now all you have to do it to get in touch with your travel agent.

Take a Boat Trip for Exciting Fun

You will find that all you may need is a break from the world at times. By going away on a cruise you will be able to spend a lot of time finding yourself and letting go of all your stress and worries. When you come home, you problems may be waiting for you, but you’ll be ready to tackle them. You will come back home with a clear picture of yourself and all the things that you may find out about yourself. You’ll also be able to find new friends and have a lot of fun experiencing new things, but then you will be able to find new friends as well.

Even if you do the research and find that it is too expensive, there are rooms where you can share a cabin with others. There are other passengers, usually of the same sex, that will split the cost of a room. However, you will have to pay extra if the cruise line can’t give you a roommate.

If you would prefer to have your privacy, then you will find that there are some cruise lines that will offer you lower extra fees if you would like to have a bigger cabin, but it might be less exclusive them most. You’ll be able to get more comfort for the same price that you would pay for a normal cabin. Finding an offer that will give you the best of options will require you to put some thought and research into your planning.

Another option that you may agree on is if you wait until very last minute. Cruise lines will offer the discounts for any vacant cabins. This may require less planning, but you may not have much luck in getting exactly what you like.

However, once you are onboard you will find that you will not spend your vacation online. You will find that there are plenty of activities on and off the ship that you may be able to take part in. You will want to ask the activities director for a complete program so that you can spend your hours exploring the world.

If you would like to meet new people, you’ll be able to find a lot of comfort in dinner. You can walk about getting to know each other. You will want to talk to those at your table and try to make friends so that you will feel comfortable. Then if you end up not liking the group of passengers, you an always ask to be seated at another table. There are hundreds of people on a cruise and you should be able to make at least a few friendships.

Then again, sailing by yourself, you’ll be able to find mystery. Others will want to know your business and everything about you, as well as, explore the cruise and activities by making new friendships at the same time.

Sail Out on Holiday

You will want to think about everything that you are expecting from a cruise. Then you will want to go and take some actions towards getting yourself to some far away lands and views. You will find that dreaming about something is usually the first step towards a reaching a goal.

You may think that taking a cruise is a lot of work, but if you just take a few minutes to do some research, you will find that there are tons of stories and tips that can be found online and they will help persuade you to take a cruise. Some people just need to go to the port because they live so closely to the cruise liner’s departure city, however, most people will have to go through a few more steps in order to get on the cruise. You will find that the ways to get to the ports can be very expensive and time consuming, however, you’ll be able to set sail quickly if you take the time to thoroughly do your research and scheduling.

How you get to the port is to be a decision that is based from financials and organization point of view. The first step in planning your vacation is to choose the location or destination of the cruise. All oceans are available for you to go to. You will find that there are all different cruises for you to be able to visit. There is a wide range of climates that you can travel. You can go to New Zealand to Alaska or even Norway. You can travel to exotic locations or places that you have always dreamed about.

Then once you know where you want to go, you can think choose a month or season to start your journey. You will notice that your timing will depend greatly on your vacation time at work, but you will also have to take in consideration the destination weather and the dangers of certain seasons. Sailing icy waters are very dangerous and there are things like hurricane season that might hold you back.

Next, you will need to plan the duration of your cruise. This means that you might want to take something that is a week or several weeks. You will find that there are also weekend cruises. You will find that there are lots of options for you and you’ll be able to fit it in your schedule.

The price is something that you can control more than you may think. You will find that there are a lot of websites that will help you to travel on a budget. You don’t have to pay for anything extra or luxuries and that will save you a lot more money than you think. When it comes to cruises, it is the extras that will cost you an arm and a leg. The price for your room may be a lot, but you can lower the costs by getting certain locations of the ship. Cruises offer you a wide range of options so that you can afford the trip. You will also find that there are cabins that will give you just as good as view as any other room.

You should begin to have a clearer picture of the type of cruise that you are looking for and you’ll be ready to find some offers. You will find clubs like AAA will offer their members some added benefits when it comes to choosing cruise packages. You will want to take the time to explore the net yourself and find a cruise line and package that you can afford and one that will give you an exciting and perfect time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Himachal and Uttaranchal Tours Let You Enjoy Another Paradise on Earth

If you are nature lover and want to spend your holidays in North India, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, parts of Himalayan range, will be of course perfect destination. Himachal and uttaranchal, both, are veritable mosaic of landscapes and environment. With a variety of climate and of course a wealth of flora and fauna, they had been places of natural choice for tourists from abroad as well as domestic tourists.

Himachal and Uttaranchal, both are undoubtedly India’s one of the most important travel destinations. Himachal tours and Uttaranchal tours cover many picturesque destinations. They have plenty of hill resorts, pilgrimage centres, adventure sports destinations and wildlife destination that attract a wide range of tourists from abroad as well as domestic tourists.

Travel to Himachal Pradesh as a part of Himachal tours packages can be surely very fascinating. Blessed with natural beauty, Himachal is indeed a paradise for tourists. Lush green Himalayan ranges, a serene, peaceful, hospitable and comfortable environment, and a rich cultural heritage are some of attractions which tourists will hardly find elsewhere in such abandon.

The high hills of Himalayas attract adventure & sports lover tourists from all over the world. During Himachal adventure tours one can enjoy trekking, mountaineering, Hang Gliding, Skiing and many more.

Travel to Uttaranchal as a part of Uttaranchal tours packages can be a unique and never ending magic. Uttaranchal is a beautiful and calm state with abundance in natural beauty. Uttaranchal has beautiful hill stations, valley of flowers and the four holy places.

Trekking tours in Uttaranchal are also very enthralling. Kumaon and Garhwal, the two hill regions of Uttaranchal, offer excellent treks for trekking. In Garhwal the trek to the source of river Ganga – the Gangotri – is most picturesque. Other treks are Joshimath to Kuari, Valley of flowers, Dodital in Uttarakshi, Yamunotri – the source of river Yamuna, etc.

Wildlife tours in Uttaranchal and Himachal can be very exhilarating and exiting experience. Wildlife of Uttaranchal and Himachal attracts a wide range of tourist traffic. Uttaranchal and Himachal hill stations are also very popular as honeymoon destinations. Every year many newly wed couples as well as young-at-heart married couples come to these destinations for enjoying honeymoon. These destinations have many grand hotels. Hotels in Shimla and Hotels in Uttaranchal also offer exciting honeymoon packages.

Manali, Kullu and Shimla are some of most popular destinations that Himachal hill stations tours and Himachal honeymoon tour packages cover. Nanital, Almora, Ranikhet, etc are some most picturesque destinations for honeymoon that Honeymoon Tours in Uttaranchal cover. Featured with many qualities and blessed with natural beauty Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, await you for your spectacular tours. Travel to Himachal and Uttaranchal and experience their culture and traditions, unexploited natural beauty, eye-catching snow-capped peaks, exciting treks, panoramic view of green valleys and many more.

Explore India Tours - A Country For All Seasons

The old civilization with its numerous timeless monuments, forts, religious places and myths, traditions of a bygone era, blazing deserts, the many miles of coast, sandy beaches and crystalline clear blue sea, island scenery, lush green villages, traditional & delicious Indian dishes and Warm & friendly hospitality of local people are all reason enough to explore India and spend your holidays in India.

India is one of the most demanding and fascinating tourist destinations in Asia. India is a great landmass that is covered on three sides, like a peninsula, by the Sea. It has three main geographical regions – the Himalayas, the Indo-Gangetic plain, and the peninsula. India is a veritable mosaic of landscapes and environment. The diversity of climates in India with its striking contrasts is an important factor to draw tourists for India tours. The country is a land of all seasons. Here all seasons, winter, monsoon, spring and summer, make their attendance. In any seasons during, India tours, one can feel the fragrance of Indian culture.

During any season India can offer you a stunning range of destinations and experiences. In summer, when the scorching, there are many picturesque Himalayan and non-Himalayan hill resorts. Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Mussoori, Nainital, Shilong Darjeeling, Mount Abu, Kodaikanal etc are some of hill resorts in India which have comfortable life during hot weather seasons. India has also many cool trekking trails. During Himachal tours one can enjoy at many hill stations and cool trekking trails. India also has many lovely beaches which provide cool climate during summer and warmth during winter. If you are interested spending your holidays at beaches, Goa tours can be too much fascinating.

In winter season, cities of India come alive with cultural feasts of music and dance. In spring, India provides feast for tourists’ eyes. There are all around abundance of buzzing flora and fauna which provide beautiful natural sights.

One can taste the delights of the Indian monsoon anywhere in the country. Lush green paddy fields attract the attention of tourists. In monsoon, nature comes alive and the peacocks dance. During Rajasthan tours, one can enjoy monsoon and natural beauty of Rajasthan on a camel safari in Rajasthan desert. Because the best time to visit deserts of Rajasthan and the north-western Indian Himalayan region is during the monsoon.

Due to climatic and geographical diversity, India has many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Some well known national wildlife sanctuaries include Corbett, Kanha, Sariska, Periyar, Ranthambore, and Bharatpur.

It is often called that India is land of magnificent monuments. Rajasthan has many imperial monuments, palaces, forts which have their own historical importance. Best known site and monument of India is the Taj Mahal, one of the world's greatest architectural achievements and one of the seven marvels of the world. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

If you are traveling northern India, your tour will be incomplete without taking a part in one of the most popular tourist circuits, called the Golden Triangle. Golden Triangle Tour cover Delhi (the capital of India where one can see feel unique blend of tradition and modernity), Agra (the site of the Taj Mahal) and Jaipur (the capital of Indian state Rajasthan and popularly known as the Pink City). Delhi is approximately 200 kilometers away from Agra, and 250 kilometers from Jaipur.

India has been always warm and inviting. It is a place which offers infinitive options for your India tours Just choose one that favours you and experience different facet of its fascination. It is waiting for your arrival every time and of course in every season.

Cheap Travel to India - Cost Effective Travel in India

Looking for something a little different and also searching a cost effective tour? Whirl your mind, dazzle your eyes and fall in love with India's extremes. India as one of the most ancient civilizations is unknown to none. The old civilization with its timeless monuments and religious places, alluring wildlife parks, dazzling deserts, lovely beaches, famous tourist site – the Taj Mahal (Agra), Gloden triangle tours – one of the famous tours circuit and many more are some of attractions that can make your vacation a dream come true.

India is, with its diversity, a beautiful, enchanting, yet enigmatic country at the same time. There is more to this country than words can tell or books describe. India is not only a travel destination but also it is an experience. With assistance of a tour operator or a travel planner you can make your tour to India memorable and cost effective and of course cheap travel to India. You can get information from a reliable travel agency regarding cheap India travel.

Because of its diversities, historically prosperous culture, an old age traditions of tourism and of course due to cost effective, India has been globally a famous tourist destinations. Perhaps, no other any country in the world offers various categories of tourism. India tourism satisfies all type of tourist weather they are nature lovers, adventure lovers, interested in culture or special interest tourists.

India is a land where all seasons make there attendance and make the country more and more appropriate place for tourists to explore India in every seasons. For every season India has many destinations to satisfy tourists. In summer when the sun is scorching many tourists from different parts of the world come to India and feel themselves comfortable.

Many tour operators offer summer special tour packages for the tourists who come to India spend their summer vacations. In India there are many Himalayan and non-Himalayan hill resorts which provide comfortable life during summer season. Apart from hill stations there are also many cool trekking trails and lovely beaches to spend summer in pleasantly way.

I think to spend summer in India, Himalayan regions are more appropriate because they provide Himalayan adventure as well as relief from scorching sun. Shimla is an important hill station in Himalayan region. During Shimla tours, tourists forget weather hotness in watching picturesque landscapes. Shimla is the capital of Himachal Pradesh and it was the erstwhile summer capital of British Empire in India.

It is often called that India is a land of monuments that resonates its legends of bygone era. When your choice is fort and palaces tours, Rajasthan will be probably too much fascinating. Rajasthan has many magnificent monuments, forts, grand heritage hotels which attract the tourists’ attentions.

Featured with many qualities India has a lot of things to offer tourists. Come to India and experience its culture and traditions, unexploited natural beauty, lovely beaches, dazzling snow-capped peaks, thrilling treks, panoramic view of green valleys and many more.

Monday, April 23, 2007

India Travel - Most Demanding Tourist Place of South Asia

India is one of the most demanding tourist destinations in Asia. India is a celebration of life that has been going on now for almost 5,000 years. It is mysterious, colorful, exotic, and always memorable. Travel to India shows, in spite of various diversities and changes, a unique and picturesque picture of the country.

A country is best known by its culture and civilization. India has a unique culture and civilization – one of the oldest and greatest civilizations of the world. India is a big package of culture and legend that never fails to captivate the imagination of the visitors.

India is truly a land of monuments. India has numerous historical monuments which have endured the centuries in all their intricate splendour. In whatever part of the country one moves, one finds numerous structures of temples, mosques, canopies, and secular structures like tanks, step-wells and bridges scattered all over the region which show different culture of the country during India tour.

Travel India to experience the awesome magnificence of the monuments of India. During Rajasthan tours one can marvels at many magnificient monuments of Rajasthan. The cities of Rajasthan are also very popular travel destination among both abroad as well as domestic tourists. Jaipur ( pink city) - the capital of Rajasthan, Udaipur - the city of lakes or the romantic city, Jodhapur - the blue city, Jaisalmer – the golden city are some of important cities of Rajasthan that Rajasthan City Guide covers.

Golden triangle tour is a most famous tourist attraction in India. The main cities of Golden Triangle Tours are Delhi (the capital of India), Jaipur (the capital of Rajasthan, India also known as the Pink City) and Agra (famous for its splendid Taj Mahal).

Apart from contemporary cities and ancient monuments, travel to India also offers a lot of variety to the visitors such as resorts, lush tropical jungles teeming with wildlife, vast Indo Gangetic Plains, mighty Himalaya and the long coastline embellished with golden beaches.

Goa is the best Indian resort and it is famous for its lovely beaches. During Goa tours one can experience Goa’s golden beaches, resorts, intricate architecture and independent culture.

Kerala is also famous for its lovely beaches, resorts, ayurveda and spa resorts, and natural beauty. Popularly called God’s own country, Kerala with its palms, sand and ocean is a perfect destination for beach vacations and appeals foreign tourists to travel to India.

For adventure sports lover India has Himalayan ranges. Himachal Tours may be more exciting for the adventure sports lover tourists. During Himachal tours one can enjoy the trekking in the foothills of the Himalayas or can enjoy other sports.

Wildlife in India is also very fascinating. During India tour tourists can enjoy of safari into 55 national parks teeming with wildlife to catch glimpse of the tiger. The most fascinating wildlife tour in India is Rajasthan wildlife tour. There is Ranthobhore National Park in Rajasthan which draws thousands of tourists eager for a glimpse of the tiger. Keoladeo Ghana brings bird-watchers to Rajasthan, India each year.

Some of other must-sees in India which appeal foreign tourists to travel to India are following. Gateway of India and Haji Ali at Mumbai, the Charminar at Hyderabad, Kashmir with its beautiful valleys & gardens, the rustic beauty of Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Shimla, Manali, Ooty and many more. These are the few places that you should not miss on your next travel to India.

Rajasthan India Holidays - A Journey Full of Fun & Pleasure

Looking for a complete holiday journey? Travel to India to experience its incredible charm. But you can’t imagine your journey full of fun and pleasure without an experience of Rajasthan Holiday Trip during your India visit.

Rajasthan is the land of colourful people and costume. Historical Rajasthan tells marvelous legends of valor and romance. Legends, which still resonate from its equally remarkable architecture standing erect, a witness to a glorious bygone era of imperial Rajasthan.

Literally, Rajasthan means the land of kings and princes. The state is the ultimate combination of history, chivalry, romance, natural beauty and colour. Gifted with natural beauty, grand & rich culture and great history Rajasthan is a renowned tourist destination.

Rajasthan is the largest state of India in terms of area. Situated on the northeast borders of India; Rajasthan broadens out into the Thar Desert. The capital of Rajasthan is Jaipur (popularly known as Pink City). Located against the backdrop of Aravalli hills, Jaipur is on of the most popular destination in India. Other important tourist destinations in imperial Rajasthan that Rajasthan Holiday Packages cover are Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Pushkar, Udaipur etc. Each place has its own historical and cultural significance.

Rajasthan Palace tour takes you to experience the incredible charisma of various royal forts, palaces, monuments and heritage hotels. The palaces of Jaipur, lakes of Udaipur, and desert forts of Jodhpur, Bikaner & Jaisalmer are among the most ideal destination of many tourists, domestic as well as foreign.

The magic of colourful Rajasthan is matchless in the world for its heritage, culture, safaris, sand dunes and lush green forests with its wildlife.

Rajasthan is a place where tradition and history merge with modern life styles. People are proud of their heritage and yet open to change western values.

The once impregnable sand coloured forts, perched on rocky hills, still tell the story of the courage of its men, the stoic sacrifice of women and the chivalrous old world manners of all.

Rajasthan is well-known for adventure and sports, too. It is also well-known for wildlife. It is home of many animals and birds. Ranthambhor National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Desert National Park, Keoladeo Ghana National Park etc are some of famous wildlife destinations in Rajasthan that is covered by Wildlife holidays Rajasthan tour packages. Going on a Jeep safari or Camel safari is perhaps one of the best ways of experiencing the royal & rustic Rajasthan.

It is often called that Rajasthan is shoppers’ paradise. One can purchase here exclusive craft of mirror work embroidery, metal and leather crafts, beautiful paintings or can taste the special cuisine of Rajasthan

Car Rental In India

Car rental is the most prevalent mode of travel in India. India is best explored by cars on hire and car rental in India is not a tedious task. Every travel company provides car and coach rentals in India. Luxury car rentals in India are the most safest and easiest method of enjoying your trip apart from being in the lap of luxury.. The business of Car rentals in India is on a boom and majority of car and coach rental India’s service providers’ provide much required basic guidance to the tourist and also take care to provide much desired privacy to their clients.

The cars on hire in India are apt for you if you are coming to India for the first time. One should Rent cars in India if want to explore the local community. While driving towards your destination you can enjoy the stunning sight seeing of India. Travel by cars in India and you will not miss a single place along with.

The main benefit of hiring cars in India is that you can visit many other places, which are difficult to be accessed through various other modes of transport. The car and coach rental in India eases up your task and journey.

The cars on hire in India are popular for their excursions, like on excursion to Rajasthan, one can enjoy the drive with car rental in Rajasthan. For the purpose of enjoying Rajathan to the fullest you can avail the service of car hire in Delhi and drive straight to Jaipur. On Delhi- Jaipur highway you can pamper their taste buds by feasting on the mouthwatering food at the roadside cafes. Many travel agents in Jaipur also provide car rental in Jaipur as well as to other places in Rajasthan.One can drive to Jodhpur from Jaipur which is a short 5 hours drive away and Indian cars on hire provide the perfect getaway vehicle what with so many luxury car makers in India like Toyota, Mercedes Benz, Fiat etc setting up their base here.

On reaching Jodhpur, one can either stay and enjoy the forts and palaces in India and also see the Luxury car collection of the Kings of yesteryears or drive to Osian- a small village on the border with amazing sand dunes. In fact, with luxury car rental in India the drive to desert doesn’t hurts and is in fact enjoyable.

While driving from Jodhpur to Udaipur or Jaisalmer the car & coach rental companies in India provide best drivers and guide services to ensure that the drive remains a memorable affair.

You can rent cars in India and visit the enchanting places like Khajuraho, which is the most popular tourist destination in India. Car hire in Khajuraho is a good option because one can easily explore the exotic Khajuraho temples. The temples of khajuraho are world famous.

Cars in India are provided for all the tourist as well as pilgrimage places. Metropolitan cities like Mumbai also provide cars on hire. Car rental in Mumbai is a very good option if you want to view the beautiful places within Mumbai as well on the out skirts of Mumbai, like the beautiful hill station of Khandala.

Renting cars in India or even abroad can be a nightmare if the vendor is not chosen properly hence we recommend that to rent car in India one should really check the vendors past records and ask for recommendations, if any.

Taj Mahal India

Taj Mahal in Agra India is one of the loveliest things in the world. Taj Mahal has become synonymous with India, and Agra is popularly known as the City of Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal monument is distinguished as the finest example of Mughal architecture. Taj Mahal architecture is a superb blend of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles.

There are so many beautiful monuments in India and the world over, but Taj Mahal without any doubt is the most enchanting monument. Taj Mahal India is believed to be the world’s greatest monument to love. Such is the charm of this enchanting monument that every year thousands of tourist visits Agra Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal in Agra India is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and was declared a UNESCO world heritage sight in the year 1983.

The beauty of Taj Mahal is so mesmerizing that one cannot avoid the temptation of capturing it into their camera. Agra Taj Mahal is believed to be the most photographed monument of India. Taj Mahal in Agra India has never failed to fascinate the tourists from the world over. If one want to understand this beautiful monument of love and would like to know more about Taj Mahal then one should experience it. No trip to India is complete without visiting the Taj Mahal Agra.

Taj Mahal monument is as beautiful as the splendid story of love behind its construction. Taj Mahal Agra was build by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan some 400 years back in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Their love story began when Shah Jahan, then Prince Khurram was strolling down in the private market of Meena bazaar. There he saw Mumtaz Mahal, then Arjumand Bano, at her shop and Shah Jahan was totally drawn towards her beauty. They got married in the year 1612; Mumtaz accompanied Shah Jahan to all his conquests and during one such conquest to Deccan, Mumtaz breathed her last breath. She died while giving birth to their 14th child. It is believed that Mumtaz on her deathbed asked Shah Jahan to build a monument of Love. Shah Jahan kept his promise and built the Taj Mahal monument in memory of his beautiful wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Some historians even claim that the grief stricken emperor, Shah Jahan himself decided to construct this beautiful Taj Mahal monument as a tribute to his beloved dead wife. Whatever the reason is, today Taj Mahal in Agra India stands as the most beautiful tomb, which immortalized the love of Shah Jahan and his empress Mumtaz Mahal.

The construction of this beautiful Taj Mahal monument began in 1633 and was completed in the year 1648. Near about 22, 000 men were deployed for the purpose of construction of the Taj Mahal. There is a legend associated with the construction of Taj Mahal Agra, which says that Shah Jahan had the hands of the artisans’ amputed with the fear that they might not construct another lovely monument. Taj Mahal in Agra India was built at an exhorbant amount of 32 million rupees.

The Construction of the Taj Mahal architecture was entrusted to board of directors and Ustad Ahmad Lahwari was the chief architect. The entire structure of Taj Mahal monument Agra is made of white marble and pure white walls. It is also called as marvel in white marble. The decoration of Taj Mahal India is a beautiful example of Pietra Dura. In order to commission Pietra Dura on Taj Mahal monument, different types of precious and semi precious stones were used in the intricate inlay work.

One should travel to Agra to view this beautiful marvel of white marble. Many travel companies in India provide travel packages for Taj Mahal, to make your trip to Taj Mahal in Agra hassle free and convenient. These travel packages for Taj Mahal also includes various excursions, like excursion to Bharatpur bird sanctuary, which is 55 km from Agra. It is one of the finest bird parks and is the second habitat in the world that is visited by rare Siberian Cranes. Other excursions from Taj Mahal Agra include Fatehpur Sikri, which was once the capital of Mughal Empire. Holy places of Vrindavan and Mathura are also nearby excursions from Taj Mahal in Agra India.

However though Agra is more popularly known as the city of Taj Mahal but Agra is much more beyond Taj Mahal. Tourism in Agra includes other spellbinding architecture also, which patronized Mughal art and architecture. Attractions near Taj Mahal include the Agra Fort, Sikandra fort, Itmad- ud- Daula tomb to name a few. Travel in Agra is a good option for those who want to enjoy the delicious Mughlai cuisine and mouth watering sweet dishes like peetha- a local spatiality.

Travel operators in India provide special Holiday packages in Agra and you can opt for the one that best suits you as per your time and budget. There are many hotels in the city of Taj Mahal. Most of Agra hotels come with attractive holiday packages in Agra. Hotel bookings in Agra can be made online also. Almost all the travel companies provide online facility of Hotel bookings in Agra. Agra is host to number of accommodation facilities ranging from budget to luxurious five star hotels.

Goa Tours In India

Goa is honeymooner paradise and an ultimate place to relax. Goa tours are perfect for people of different needs and preferences. Goa holidays involve exploring the land of glistening sands, swaying coconut palms and ultra fresh seafood. Goa holidays are tailored depending upon the time and budget of those who come to visit Goa.

Goa is home to some of the best beaches of the world and the breathtakingly beautiful beaches make Goa an ideal destination for beach vacation tour. Each Goa beach is special in its own way and such is the charm of these beaches that one would find it difficult to leave. Most of the tourists who decide to visit Goa, place their decision because of these mesmerizing Goa beaches. These serene Goa beaches are famed throughout the world and the water sport facilities are fascinating. Nightlife of Goa is also very attractive for the party lovers. One can boogie all night and enjoy the beach parties.

Goa was a dominion of Portugal till 1961 and the Goa Carnival, which is celebrated for three days before Lent, is an integral part of the Portuguese heritage in Goa. Fun loving character of Goa is epitomized by this carnival. Goa is also famous for its beautiful churches, which is one of the distinctive features that Goa has obtained with Portuguese influence. The Portuguese had zeal and were passionate with church building. Among the churches the most famous are Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of st. Catejan to name a few.

Goa is a land of Flamboyant life style, British reminiscent, history and fairs and festivals. Goa holidays are a perfect combination of sun, sand and sea experience. Goa is a place for everyone ranging from family to just married to spend their honeymoon. Travel packages of Goa with the culture of Goa, its people and the beautiful beaches make it a perfect and most favored tourist destination.

Goa holidays would be incomplete without tasting the local cuisine. Portuguese influence is reflective in the Goan food cooking. Goa is famous for its delicious seafood and a local brew ‘feni’. The cuisine in Goa is basically non-vegetarian and spicy.

Goa is host to many accommodation options ranging from budget to five star luxurious hotels and even exotic beach resorts. Those who want to relax and be comfortable; Goa is the place for them.

Last Minute Travel Deals- Grab The Opportunity

Many people wish to travel frequently and that too on weekends when there is a scant chance of getting a booking done. They like to travel to explore nearby places, visit a relative or they would just like to be away from the home for a few days. So, if you are among one of them, you need to look for last minute travel deals. This thing works when the hotels and the airlines discover at the last moment that they had not filled up according to their capacities. They may offer discounts in order to get people to book seats on airplanes and beds in the hotels.

In such a circumstance, you may not get all the facilities that you want and may have to take a chance. There are many airlines which offer discounted rates for the following weekend. Tickets can be availed from them in the mid of the week. With these fares you may have a Saturday departure and have to get back on Monday or a Tuesday. If you go on these trips, you would find the cost to be very much affordable. Last minute travel deals come as a last resort for people who need to travel as an emergency or the carefree ones who didn’t foresee the coming of a long weekend.

If you travel in the last minute, then you can certainly avail affordable prices and can save your money. You need to be flexible and should be prepared to make compromises, then only you can make your travel exciting and full of adventure.

How To Plan - A Great Three-Day Getaway In Your Own Town

If you are tired of the wintertime blues and you want to do something fun, you may want to take a vacation. You may want to think about getting away from it all and doing something fun for yourself. However, it is right after Christmas and you will still have to pay those Christmas bills. What are you going to do? There is no way that you can afford to pay for a trip or plan ticket now. There is an option for you so that you can afford and you do not have to miss any time from work as well.

You can take a great getaway in your hometown. There are great places to see and things to do in your own home town that have been there forever and you just never took the time to see. You should not take these things for granted anymore and go out and have some fun. There are places to visit and things that you can do to keep you entertained and excited without leaving your own town.

You should be able to take at least three days out of your busy workweek to enjoy these great sites. You can spend some time relaxing and enjoying life without spending a lot of money. You can take a great three-day vacation in your own hometown easily. If you do not have a lot of money to spend on this vacation it is ok. You can get a hotel room with a great deal of amenities so that you can do all the things that you would if you were on vacation. This is especially great if you live in an area that has snow and ice all the time. You can take advantage of the free breakfast and get some relaxing time to yourself or with your loved one at a price you can feel good about.

If you do not have any money, you can stay at home. Do not take any phone calls and stay away from your computer and work. Make this your time and do what ever you want. This is a great way to have a three-day getaway for you. Lock the doors and enjoy the quiet time. Watch your favorite movies and eat all you want. This is a great adventure for anyone.

If you live in a hometown that has places for hikes and other beautiful places in nature to go, you should take advantage of it. There are great places that you can see that do not cost anything or much at all. You will love being out in nature and seeing what was always right there in front of you and you never noticed.

If you have some great historical sites in your hometown, this is the perfect time to check them out. There are great things to see and learn about that you never even took the time to know before. You will feel good about this type of getaway and it is going to be a great experience that you can keep with you forever. There is little travel involved and it is a great time to do on your own or with someone that you love.

Museums are another great way to get away. You can check out all that is available to you when you visit one of these hometown places. You will not have to go far and the cost is very little. You need to take this opportunity if you are taking a three-day getaway from the hustle of regular life.

Parks are another great place to visit. You can take a bike ride or walking trial that is in your area. This is a great place that will give you some fresh air and allow you to get exercise on your three-day getaway. Take advantage of the free events that are available to you. You can check out your newspaper to find out what you can do on your time off. There is always something going on and you can do this in your free time. Visit the library and do the same thing. There are events happening all the time and you do not want to miss out on all the fun that you can have. There are also great exhibits that you can take in when you are looking for something to do as well.

There are great attractions that you can find within your limits of home. You can take great day trips to make you relax and have some time to yourself. There are things that you can do as well to spend time with your family too. You do not have to spend a great deal of money to have fun. You can stay at home, sleep in your own bed and stay comfortable for much less than what you would spend anywhere else. The most important thing to remember is that you are enjoying yourself without the stress of regular life. Choose the best attractions that are going to interest you and find something fun that you will all enjoy.

Three-day vacations can be a great and very relaxing time for you and your family. You will only need to use a little bit of imagination to make it a great family getaway for anyone that needs some time off.

Great Ways to Enjoy Cheap Travel Discounts

So many American families are putting off family traveling because they simply just do not have the money or they are too busy, however, you do not have to worry about not having the time or money to travel because you can get some cheap discount rates if you look in the right places. You will want to learn about these discounts so that you and your family can enjoy spending time away together. You will find that you can get some discounts when you go online, look in the newspapers, and even look through the yellow pages. Many families will venture off into a vacation just so that they can get away and recoup from the daily grind. You will find that if you learn about these discounts that you can create memories for the whole family to keep.

When it comes to your airfare, you will find that it can be something that you cannot avoid and it is also very costly, however, there are plenty of places that you can get good deals. You will find that there are discounts for any place that you need to go. You will want to think about the beginning of your trip. It is always cheaper if you go during the middle of the week (around Tuesday through Thursday). You will find that you can stay for seven days at a hotel and be at discount rated too, because you are checking in during the middle of the week. You will also find that the time of day that you are departing from or arriving will make a difference too. You will want to check out the best times by comparing rates. You will also want to hit the discount sites online too. You will find plenty of bargains and you will also see what exactly it will take to put the vacation together. Price line is one of the best places online that you can find cheap fairs. You may also be able to use some flyer miles that you have racked up on your credit card and such too.

You will also find that when you get to the destination that you will want to take public transportation to help you stay safe. This can be very expensive, but there are still ways that you can save some money. First, you may be able to find a deal on a rental car online, but then you will also want to get things like insurance and roadside assistance. You will find that the price of renting is cheap, but when you add all of your extras, things tend to get expensive. You will also find that if you take buses you will be able to save some money. However, if you are making plenty of day trips while on your vacation you will be able to take the train and it will help you to get across the country to other places and sites (this is important if you are making several stops in European countries).

As for the hotels, you will want to go online and get your rates. They will be cheaper and affordable. You will find that if you take your time to get a good rate on a expensive hotel, you’ll feel a lot better than taking your chances on the cheap bed and breakfasts. There are other types of shelter for those who are looking for cheap rates, but you may find that it will depend on the destination that you are planning. You will want to make sure that your shelter is appropriate for your trip.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Nine Tips for Finding the Money for Long Term Travel

Passport Pages: The Passport of a Traveler barely has empty spots left.Passport Pages: The Passport of a Traveler barely has empty spots left.“I’m barely getting by on what I make now. How can I possibly save enough to travel for more than a couple of weeks a year? How could I ever stop working, even temporarily? No way.“ Accumulating the money is usually the most difficult part of getting ready for long term travel.

For some it is easy. They have stock they can sell, or they can rent their house or apartment and make enough to support them while they travel. Some people inherit the money. Some sell their house or condo, and travel on those funds. It may be possible to downsize, selling one home, buying a smaller one with a maximum mortgage, then renting it out while traveling on the price difference between the two properties. Most would-be travelers, however, must save most of the money. To do that they will need to cut their expenses, increase their income, and perhaps sell a few favorite possessions.

When people say they can’t save, they really mean they can’t save without giving something up, without making sacrifices, without changing their lifestyle at all. They want a couple of lattes every day, a really nice and fairly new car, and regular manicures. Their hair must be done by an expensive stylist, and they expect to eat lunch out every work day, dinner out several times a week, and meet friends for drinks at least that often. Most of that will have to go. If you really want to travel, it’s time for sacrifice.

Setting Up for Sacrifice

1) Find out what your sacrifices will buy you when you are on the road.

Pick a country on your itinerary, perhaps Thailand, and look up the price of a hostel bed or inexpensive room. Check the cost of a meal at a local restaurant. You’ll find that in Chiang Mai you can get a room with private bath for about $7, a bowl of noodle soup for $1.50, and a bottle of local beer for less than $2.

Now you can look at your expenses in terms of their impact on your trip. You can decide whether you want to spend four dollars for a latte now or have a couple of beers on the road. Do you want drinks and dinner at an expensive restaurant, or a week’s accommodation?

2) You should keep your goal in front of you at all times.

Seed your life with reminders of your travel plans and your savings goal. Start with your wallet. Write the numbers from your cost research on a piece of paper and put it in you wallet with your money. Tuck a second reminder in front of your credit cards with the costs facing out. No folding allowed. Use bright colored paper.

Cut pictures out of travel brochures and post them around your home. A beautiful tropical beach by the mirror, so you can start your day remembering your goals. Put more pictures by your computer, to make you think before you place an on-line order. If you still pay bills by check, paste another picture to the front of your checkbook.

Try to have a reminder pop up every conceivable place where you might spend money. Because we tend not to notice things once they become familiar, change your reminders once in a while. Replace the beach with a temple, and the cost of food in Cuzco with the price of a dorm bed in Sydney.

Major changes are needed, and you can‘t just give up things that don‘t matter much to you. That‘s a good place to start, but it won‘t be enough. The more major the cuts, the more it hurts, the sooner you can leave or the longer you can travel.

3) Open a separate travel savings account.

Put the money you save into a new savings account, dedicated to your trip. Get the highest interest rate possible, of course. Watching your stash grow will be more satisfying. You will also be less tempted to use it for another purpose if it isn’t mixed in with other funds.

4) Set aside the money you don’t spend every day, and put it in the bank every week.

Make a change jar, or box, or envelope to store the money you are accumulating. Put a picture of the Great Wall on it. At the end of each day, calculate what expenses you avoided, take that money out of your wallet, and set it aside. If you took a sandwich and fruit to work, and skipped the $10.00 lunch, and skipped one $4.00 coffee, put $14.00 in your change jar.

At the end of the week, put that money in the bank. With on-line banking this may be more figurative than physical. Count the money, transfer exactly that much from your checking account to your travel account, then return the money to your wallet to use the next week.

Making Sacrifices

5) Downsize.

Sell your car and walk or bus to work. Give up the two-bedroom apartment and move into a tiny studio.

6) Cut recurring expenses.

If you reduce a monthly expense, you save that amount every month. List all the bills that you pay every month, and all the recurring services you pay for, then look for ways to reduce the monthly cost. Are you paying for extras that you don’t really need? If you have a cell phone, maybe you don’t need long-distance on you land line. Are there cheaper alternatives? You could use a free computer-based long distance service. Do you need the product at all? Many people have given up their land line altogether.

Be sure to include all your recurring costs, not just the ones that issue monthly bills. Consider haircuts, manicures, dry cleaning, laundry, and gasoline as well as utilitees and insurance.

7) Get drastic.

Consider the unthinkable. Move back in with your parents or get a roommate. Stop dating. Give up drinking. Stop smoking. Use cheap toiletries.

Celebrate Success

8) Enjoy the progress you are making.

Keep a chart that visually illustrates how much progress you have made. When you have enough money for a month in Argentina, mark that milestone. Have an inexpensive glass of wine, do a little celebratory dance.

9) Start acquiring travel necessities.

As you get close to your goal, start buying some of the travel gear that is in your budget. Buy your backpack or wheelie. Keep it out, of course, as yet another reminder. Watch for a sale and upgrade your camera. Pick up a money belt and a cable lock. Physical manifestations of the coming trip will make you more determined as you get to the end of a long, hard road.


One day you will walk out of a door, check that you have your ticket, your passport, your money, and your bag, and start your travels. You’ll won’t regret missing a single latte.


This article was written by Cindy, who has lived this lifestyle for many years.

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